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Buffalo Bills News - April 7, 2003

Marker Chargers re-sign kicker Steve Christie [10:50 PM]
Chargers.com reports: The Chargers re-signed kicker Steve Christie, one of the most prolific kickers in NFL history, to a one-year deal on Monday. The bulk of his career was spent in Buffalo, where he played for eight seasons (1992-2000). During his time in Buffalo, he became the Bills’ all-time leader in career points and field goals.

Marker Retro Draft: A Look One Year Back [7:21 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Nearly one year later, here's a look back at the Bills' draft class of 2002, including a recap of their rookie-year contributions and a thought about where each player fits into the team's current plans.

Marker Bills work out draft plan [7:03 PM]
Shout! reports: The Bills primary objective this off-season was to upgrade a defense that ranked last in the NFL in takeaways, 27th in points allowed and 29th against the run.

Marker Reese flexible, plus other notes [6:59 PM]
Shout! reports: The coaching staff is addressing ways to cut down on the number of sacks allowed last season - 54, fourth most in the NFL. OC Kevin Gilbride, though, isn't lying awake nights. He's put the onus on QB Drew Bledsoe. "Some of that falls to him, getting rid of the ball and not trying to show his manhood every play," Gilbride said.

Marker The Buffalo skinny [6:56 PM]
Shout! reports: Signing Gash, a fan favorite during his first tour with the Bills, is the latest sign of the team's commitment to running the ball more and creating more balance for an offense that set numerous team passing marks last fall.

Marker Look for the AFC East to be a brutally tough battleground [6:54 PM]
Pro Football Weekly reports: Buffalo — Sure, the Bills lost one key component off their explosive offense in WR Price, but GM Donahoe has radically improved the defense with the additions of DT Adams, LBs Posey and Spikes and highly respected assistant coach LeBeau. That, in turn, should take the pressure off the offense to have to put a ton of points on the board for the Bills to win. Bledsoe is a battle-tested QB who seems rejuvenated in Buffalo. RB Henry and WR Moulds are game-breaking talents and Buffalo believes second-year WR Reed can adequately fill Price’s big shoes. If the defense and special teams improve as they should, I look for the Bills to win a couple more games this season, leaving them in the running for a playoff spot.

Marker Several DLs among first-round options [6:53 PM]
Pro Football Weekly reports: "It's extremely deep," Bills GM Tom Donahoe said. "In the years we've been doing this, this is one of the deepest drafts -- numbers-wise -- for defensive linemen that we've seen. We talked about the defensive line (in team meetings before the Combine) for a long time. It's usually a short list. But this year there are a lot of names."

Marker Ken hits jackpot as Thunder rolled over [3:36 PM]
Glasgow Evening Times reports: 'And Simonten, on loan from the Buffalo Bills, added: "The way the game started I just had a good feeeling for it. Everything felt right and a lot of things fell into place for me".

Marker Hollis Agrees to Deal [3:33 PM]
BigBlueWreckingCrew.com reports: 'Hollis spent the last season with the Buffalo Bills and made 25 of 33 field goals including a carrer long 54 yard FG. Prior to the Bills, Hollis kicked for 7 years with the Jacksonville Jaguars.'

Marker Ken Simonton Runs For Four TDs In NFL Europe Action [10:47 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Buffalo Bills allocated running back Ken Simonton set a new team mark and tied a league record with four rushing touchdows for the Scottish Claymores on Sunday. He scored on runs on 11, five, three and five yards on the day.

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April 6, 2003

Marker As guessing games go, how Bills start is tougher than who they'll draft [9:17 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Despite all the improvements made during this eventful offseason, I don't see the Bills much better than 1-3 in the first quarter of the season.'

Marker Bills will go 10-6 [5:51 AM]
D and C reports: 'Dec. 27 -- at New England. If the game means a playoff berth for one or both teams, this would be the perfect spot for Bledsoe to end the Belichick hex. Easier said than done. 10-6.'

Marker Bills, Jags gain, Eagles, Cards lose in free agency [5:50 AM]
Kansas City Star reports: 'The Bills bolstered their defense, which ranked 29th against the run last year, by signing Cincinnati's best defensive player in linebacker Takeo Spikes; space-eating tackle Sam Adams (from Oakland), another productive linebacker in Jeff Posey (eight sacks with Houston), and safety Izell Reese (Denver).'

April 5, 2003

Marker Nascar Notebook [9:23 AM]
Macon Telegraph reports: 'Jim Kelly is scoring again. The football great, who is the only NFL quarterback to lead his team to four consecutive Super Bowls, will be the grand marshal for Sunday's race.'

Marker Jints near deals with Levens, Hollis [9:15 AM]
New York Post reports: '...the Giants believe they have lured [Mike] Hollis with a five-year deal - the team last night would not confirm this - to further spice their special teams with a veteran flavor.'

Marker Joe DeLamielleure Autograph Session [8:20 AM]
TBD reports: Joe DeLamielleure will be appearing in St. Louis this Sunday April 6th, from 9:30-12:30.

April 4, 2003

Marker RB Dorsey Levens agrees to terms with Giants [8:37 PM]
AP reports: 'The Giants also are close to reaching agreement with veteran placekicker Mike Hollis, who played with Buffalo last season after a long career in Jacksonville, the source added.'

Marker Printable 2003 Buffalo Bills Schedule [4:39 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: The schedule features two nationally televised Sunday night games on ESPN - September 21 at Miami and October 26 at Kansas City. Those two contests kick off at 8:30 PM (ET).

Marker 'Endless possibilities' for Bills' defense [3:12 PM]
NFL.com reports: Spikes, a dominant force from the Cincinnati Bengals, and Posey, a rising talent from the Houston Texans, should do plenty to enhance the Bills' pass rush, which generated a mere 31 sacks last season. Their tremendous injection of speed and athleticism -- along with the quickness of incumbent middle linebacker London Fletcher -- will go a long way toward allowing the Bills to generate more heat on the passer.

Marker Offseason additions make Buffalo a team to watch [3:11 PM]
ESPN reports: '"We've worked hard but we've also been fortunate," Donahoe said. "When the Bengals put the ("transition") tag on Takeo, for instance, we didn't know if we could do enough to get him. But some things went our way. In dealing with (Adams), it was obvious he was close with Pat Williams, and he really liked (defensive line coach) Tim Krumrie. On Marcus Jones, heck, we just signed him on a wing and a prayer, but it looks like it might work out for us. If it all comes together, yeah, maybe we've closed the gap now in our division."'

Marker Failure happens, but recognize the good, Super Bowl coach says [1:17 PM]
Syracuse Daily Orange reports: 'The Bills made it to the Super Bowl four times in a row under Levy's coaching — and lost all four times. Levy remained undeterred, believing that persistence and a positive response to rejection are key to success on the field. "Fight 'til your last gasp," he said. But if you lose, "don't be too harsh on yourselves, recognize the good, make a plan and then work on that plan because a brilliant idea is just a job half done."'

Marker Lacina may head back to Buffalo [10:21 AM]
St. Paul Pioneer Press reports: '"It's a business and I'm prepared to move on," Lacina said. "Buffalo would be a great situation. I'd like to finish where I started."'

Marker Schedule presents Bills a grueling stretch [8:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The good news is the Bills play their opener at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The bad news last season was the Patriots whipped the Bills, 38-7, in Buffalo and, 27-17, in Foxboro, Mass. Had the Bills won both of those games, they would have made the playoffs.'

Marker A Sunday kind of team [5:17 AM]
D and C reports: 'But while players and coaches -- who view playing on MNF as prestigious and fun -- may take that as a slight, the Bills marketing department openly welcomes Sunday games starting at 1 p.m. That’s because it’s much easier for fans from Rochester, the Southern Tier and Canada -- about 40 percent of the attendance at Ralph Wilson Stadium -- to make the round-trip drive.'

April 3, 2003

Marker Bills to open and close against Patriots [4:20 PM]
AP reports: 'The Bills, coming off an 8-8 season, will play 11 games against teams that were .500 or better last year and the schedule includes six games against 2002 playoff teams. Three of the final four games will be against AFC East opponents.'

Marker Bills Announce 2003 Schedule [1:23 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'The schedule features two nationally televised Sunday night games on ESPN - September 21 at Miami and October 26 at Kansas City. Those two contests kick off at 8:30 PM (ET).'

Marker New 'D' stands for destructive [5:20 AM]
D and C reports: '“You’ve got to be pleased with what we’ve done so far,” said Gray, who has endured two long seasons under severe salary cap constraints. “We filled some needs -- a big run stopper, a more active (weak-side) linebacker, a good (strong-side) linebacker and we’ve got some competition back there at safety. Even without the draft, we’ve got competition on the team and that’s going to make everyone better.”'

Marker Cawley joins Brigade [5:19 AM]
D and C reports: 'Former Buffalo Bills quarterback Mike Cawley has signed with the Rochester Brigade.'

April 2, 2003

Marker Alumni Spotlight: Marty Schottenheimer [3:59 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Even as an All-America linebacker at the University of Pittsburgh, Marty Schottenheimer used strategy to help determine his outcome on the field. Little did he know then that would be a sign of things to come.

Marker Coming soon! 2003 Buffalo Bills schedule [1:51 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Buffalo's 2003 Opponents

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09/13 Indianapolis Colts 1:00 pm
09/20 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
09/27 @ Miami Dolphins 4:25 pm
10/04 New York Giants 1:00 pm
10/11 @ Tennessee Titans 1:00 pm
10/18 Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm
10/25 @ Jacksonville Jaguars 9:30 am
11/08 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
11/12 @ New York Jets 8:25 pm
11/23 @ New England Patriots 8:30 pm
11/29 @ Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm
12/6 Houston Texans 1:00 pm
12/13 @ Philadelphia Eagles 1:00 pm
12/20 @ Washington Redskins 1:00 pm
12/27 Dallas Cowboys 1:00 pm
01/03 New York Jets 1:00 pm

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